Alexandra Karaoutsadis
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Just another millennial spending her money on smashed avo toast and coffee.
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Google and Intrusive Ads: Protect Your Ads from the Crack Down

The great thing about online information is how readily accessible it is. That is until intrusive ads came into play, taunting readers with a countdown before they can exit the advertisement blocking them from the content.

The viewer watches as the button on the edge counts down from 5 seconds, seemingly the longest they’ve ever encountered. Before it even reaches 3, they click back in frustration to avoid the wait any longer and find another piece they can view.

This frustration in the viewer leads to a tarnished online experience, and can have detrimental effects on website viewership or lead development for businesses that are becoming blocked by these ads. Now, Google is cracking down on them, and the websites powering them. There are ways you can prepare your marketing team for this and ensure the safety of your ad revenue before the clampdown on advertisements.

The Breakdown

Before we go any further, it is important to know that Google is not ridding itself of advertisements altogether. Simply, they are evaluating and moving away from advertisements that disrupt and tarnish user experience by blocking the content for a period of time.

The reason for this, which Google has identified, is that users have been driven to install software that blocks advertisements. The issue in this arises as advertisement blockers do not tend to differentiate between intrusive advertisements, and ads that are acceptable. Ultimately, this impacts creators who rely on advertisement revenue to power their content, including web developers, content creators, videographers, journalists, etc.

The move isn’t new to Google, with its past penalisation for large use of above the fold ad content, and forceful pop-up advertisements on mobile platforms. Since its partnership with the Coalition for Better Ads, Google has been developing its ad standards, and the recommendations developed since.

It isn’t clear as of yet what the penalisation will be for those that are found to be intrusive to users, although it could be apt to presume that their overall ranking will be effected. However, it has been made clear that Google Chrome will be blocking advertisements in violation completely.


What Qualifies as a Bad Advertisement

It is important to understand the standards that Google are now aligning with, and reshape your marketing accordingly to avoid violation. There are a number of factors that constitute as a ‘bad’ advertisement, including:

  • Advertisements that Interrupt Viewership

This specifically relates to advertisements that require viewers to wait a certain amount of time before they are given the ability to click forward into content. Characterised by the countdown functionality, these are extremely intrusive to viewers and can ultimately affect viewer experience, and the turnover rate from leads to sales.

  • Distracting Advertisements
    There are a number of advertisements that are now created with the intent of playing loud in order to be noticed. This is especially true for advertisements found on YouTube, as users are shocked out of a calmed state with above natural volume levels.
  • High Density Advertisements
    Advertisements that clutter or ad to pages load time could be effected by this new roll-out of advertisement blocking by Google. As they are larger and more invasive, it can cause for a longer wait time for users to access content and therefore have a negative effect on their viewership enjoyment.

In the new roll-out, the above factors will be taken into consideration. However, these are not the only factors that can impact the performance of an advertisement, and how a viewer responds to it.


Improving Your Advertisement

There are a number of factors that users are turning to, provided by Google, that help with the revision of your advertisements with this new switch. Amongst many factors, these can be seen as the top 3 inclusions:

  • Responsive Load Time
    Advertisements that load quickly and do not delay the responsiveness of the website that viewers are trying to access tend to not impact viewer online experience. When they are quick, straight to the point and don’t leave the viewer waiting for a prolonged period of time with taunting countdowns, advertisements tend to perform a lot better and be more accepted by viewers.
  • Captivating Content
    Advertisements that are seemingly linked to the content the viewers are looking at accessing can perform a lot better than those that are completely unrelated. It tends to come across as less disruptive and interfering to the viewer. It also has its benefits of being played towards people that are interested in finding out about that product or service, improving lead conversions. These also tend to be native advertisements, made by the page themselves rather than an outside advertiser.
  • Viewer relevancy
    Advertisements that are marketed towards the right people are safe in this roll-out. This is easier than ever to do through Google AdWords, with the ability to create campaigns specific to geographical locations, keyword searches and viewer relevancy. Building advertisement experiences that align with the content and viewers directly correlates with the performance of the campaign, and can drive you to achieving the sales that you are after whilst still being received well by Google.

What Happens Now?

Although the changes aren’t coming into effect until 2018, it is important to evaluate the ways in which your advertisements, or content, could be impacted by the changes taking place. Ensure that your ranking, or marketing campaign, is not in violation of the new roll-out and better your marketing strategies at the same time. Test and improve your ad content by evaluating your click through rates, or by an outside evaluation. Optimise your marketing campaign to ensure that it performs well in the new Google advertisement standards, and avoid being blocked out altogether!

By Alexandra Karaoutsadis

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